HVAC Technician Schools Mound City KS

How to Choose the Right HVAC College near Mound City Kansas

air conditioner condensers in Mound City KSOnce you have decided on a career as a heating and air conditioner technician, the next action is to look for an HVAC vocational school near Mound City KS. But with so many to select from, how do you decide on the right one to get the training that you need? Many prospective students will make their choice based entirely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are relevant concerns, they are not the only ones to investigate. Some of the other things that you need to investigate are the graduation completion rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and other criteria will be addressed in more detail later within this article. But before we discuss how to pick an HVAC trade school, let’s take a look at what a heating and air conditioning technician does to become a licensed skilled tradesman.

Becoming an HVAC Technician

Mound City KS HVAC Tech installing water heaterHVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC technicians provide services for the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As skilled tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, however every state and local municipality has its own prerequisites. Obtaining professional certification is not mandatory, but a voluntary means for Mound City KS HVAC specialists to demonstrate that they are exceptionally qualified and experienced in their area of expertise. There are several respected certifications within the trade that are offered. Below are a few of the significant ones.

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally acknowledged certification for HVAC techs. The certification is attained by passing a competency exam and may be received in one or more specialties.
  • HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. Two years of professional experience together with passing a comprehensive exam are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience together with a passing result on the professional level examination. As with NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
  • EPA Section 608. This certification is required for specialists that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification available, one for small appliances, and the additional two for low and high pressure refrigerants.

Considering that licensing may be mandated in your location, and you may also wish to earn certification, it’s important that you select an HVAC trade school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 exams.

HVAC Certificate and Degree Training Programs

radiator heater in Mound City KS homeThere are a number of options offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Obtaining a certificate will take the lesser amount of time, often completed in as little as six months, although some programs are longer. A certificate will train you for most HVAC positions, particularly if you are licensed and have certification applicable to the position. The degree training programs can provide a competitive advantage for securing employment and will deliver more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each option offered near Mound City KS.

  • Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are very popular among entry level residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They provide a strong foundation of skills for employment within the industry.
  • Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more comprehensive understanding of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to complete, some degrees include an internship or work-study program.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more towards a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also learn how to design them.

Choosing the ideal credential program will be based on what your long term career goals are, together with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to start with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the field in Mound City KS, later returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are considering about how their returning student program works.

HVAC Online Classes

Mound City KS student attending HVAC school onlineChoosing an HVAC school online is one possibility to attaining your training and earning a degree or certificate. Nearly all schools will call for some attendance on campus to take part in practical training. Many also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in online, this option may be a more accessible solution for many Mound City KS students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even commuting expenses from Mound City and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your job or family obligations have left you with minimal time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it less complicated to accommodate school into your busy lifestyle.

What to Ask HVAC Trade Schools

Questions to ask Mound City KS HVAC training schoolsAfter you have picked the type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many HVAC vocational schools in the Mound City KS area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a list of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  Numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Mound City KS area have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the HVAC training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the HVAC schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Mound City KS HVAC employers to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Mound City KS HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Mound City KS HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Mound City KS home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Flexible Scheduling.  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Mound City KS, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Considering an HVAC School near Mound City KS?

Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Mound City Kansas area.  If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.

Mound City, Kansas

During the Civil War, a military post was established at Mound City. On October 25, 1864, Mound City was attacked twice by Confederates retreating south after their defeat at the Battle of Westport. The military post was closed and abandoned in June 1865 after the end of the war.

Mound City is located at 38°8′31″N 94°48′44″W / 38.14194°N 94.81222°W / 38.14194; -94.81222 (38.142026, -94.812186).[9] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.27 square miles (3.29 km2), of which, 1.07 square miles (2.77 km2) is land and 0.20 square miles (0.52 km2) is water.[1]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Mound City has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[10]

HVAC Technician Schools Mound City KS

Picking the right HVAC training course is a critical beginning toward a fulfilling career in the heating and air conditioning trade. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Technician Schools. However, as we have discussed in this post, you should pick an HVAC school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to search for are lots of hands-on training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC technician in Mound City KS.

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